Hi Redditors! I'm best known for playing Mike Teevee in the film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, but I appeared in several other things as a kid and have had a variety of careers since then. It's all on Wiki if you want details (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paris_Themmen). My wife Nikki is typing because I am a "Redditor's Wife." Let the games begin!

Proof: http://i.imgur.com/5RgaUJS.jpg

**Update #1: I'm taking a break but keep the questions coming! I'll check back in a bit later.

**Update #2: Thanks so much for all your questions! It's been fun! I'll pop back in tomorrow to check any last-minute questions. In the meantime, Julie Dawn Cole (Veruca Salt) and I will be touring around the USA and appearing at showings of the film at all of the Alamo Drafthouse theaters in late September/early October. Check your local listings. Hope to see you there! Scrumdiddlyumptiously, Paris.

**Update #3: Okay, it's 2:15am. I'm really going to bed now. Thanks again!

**Update #4: Wed. Answered some more Qs. Gotta go to SLC Comic-Con now. This thing is getting long but I'll try to do another sweep next week. It's weird, as if I am getting sucked into Reddit, spending way too many hours staring at it. Sound familiar? "I don't like the look of it".

***Update #5: Wednesday the 10th. Popping in again to answer the last few questions.

Comments: 1371 • Responses: 80  • Date: 

danheskett1180 karma

Paris - First, I have tell you a dark secret. I have two daughters, who are roughly 8 and 10 now. A few years back, we screened Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and I told them it was a documentary - a true story - and that it happened when their mother and I were little kids. I told them we went nuts trying to find the chocolate bar with the golden ticket. I have enlisted a massive multi-state fraud to keep the lie going. Their grandparents have backed up the story and added to the myth, embellishing that Charlies' various bed-ridden grandparents played bridge with my grandparents, until they all got moved into the factory. We told them that the inferior Johhny Depp remake was a "ripped from the headlines" knock off, and they were properly insulted.

The problem is.. well.. they are growing up. And now it's getting harder and harder to keep the story straight. Randomly they'll tell adults about bits and pieces, and I have a very elaborate system of coughs, hand gestures, and topic diversions that have allowed the ruse to go on. But problems.. they are adding up. First, my oldest daughter started questioning the location and time period. Then my younger daughter, after learning the basics of an elevator and block and tackle physics, questioned how you would rig a pulley system to create a Wonk-a-vator. That got my older one thinking about the inevitable gravitational reckoning that would occur with said elevator once the momentum of the ballistic trajectory was exhausted.

Needless to say, this is getting real. Any day now one of them is going to learn about IMDB or Wikipedia and the lid is going to be blown off this scandal. The worst part is that my 10 year old is starting to get just a little bit interested in boys, and has asked me if the stretching process left any permanent damage..

So two questions:

a. Have you run into this before? Any advice to offer?

b. Do you have contact information for Slugworth? If my kids ever happen to bump into him, they might take him out at the knees.

PS: This is not the biggest problem I have. If Vanilla Ice ever has an AMA I have a similar confession that all started when my kids asked "what do you mean this is YOUR SONG?".

ParisThemmenAMA801 karma

I agree that at some point you're going to have to come to grips with the fact that your little girls are going to become little ladies. As to when and how to break the news to them, I can't really advise you there. I can tell you that I've had some experience with this at my convention autograph signing table. I find that six years old is usually the cutoff. If a parent approaches my table with an under-six-year-old, and says, "Look, honey, that's Mike Teevee," the reaction will range from tears to hiding behind their pant leg to a crestfallen look of disbelief. Not only am I not on TV, but I'm 55 instead of 11. This is too much for their minds to conceive. It sounds like you're in deep, and I wish you Godspeed. Slugworth passed some time ago, so you're safe there. Ice, ice, baby.

Milo_K796 karma

Hi Mr Themmen. Do you have any views on Mr Wonka's ethics during the factory tour? Did it annoy you that Mike never got a chance to give back the Ever Lasting Gobstopper?

ParisThemmenAMA2619 karma

Okay, that's an interesting one. Because Charlie and Grandpa Joe bounced around the Fizzy Lifting Drinks ceiling prior to Mike's indiscretions in the TV room, it has been suggested that I should have won the contest (I was the last to go before Charlie). No one has ever pointed out to me before that I never had the opportunity to return the Gobstopper. The Gobstopper, by now, would have been a couple of microns tall. In my opinion, the whole thing was rigged from the beginning. Charlie even lives in Wonka's town! The fix was in.

joshwaynegacy661 karma

What went through your head when Gene Wilder started singing "There's no telling where we're going..."?

ParisThemmenAMA1506 karma

Like our initial entrance to the Chocolate Room, the director did not warn us what was coming in this scene. Mike Teevee enjoys pretty much the entire factory tour. The boat is the one place where he exhibits fear and discomfort. Gene is so great in this scene, and it didn't take much acting on our part to play "What the fuck is wrong with this guy?"

DiabolicalPianist630 karma

What would you say was your first impression of Gene Wilder? Is he as captivatingly awesome as I imagine!?

ParisThemmenAMA946 karma

Gene was fantastic. He was very gentle and soft-spoken most of the time, except for the occasional outburst on film - can you say the boat trip? But I don't have to tell you all that he is a brilliant actor and a comedic genius.

DylanNotDillon569 karma


ParisThemmenAMA1730 karma

The Oompa Loompas were notoriously mischievous. They were often drunk after a day's shooting. We all stayed in a hotel together. In those days, when you wanted to have your shoes shined, you'd leave them outside of your hotel room door. One night the Oompa Loompas grabbed all the shoes, tied the laces together, and left them in a pile to be found in the morning.

BeachCop1803 karma

What..do you get when your midgets are...dicks?

Piles of shoes with knots to be...fixed.

In...a hotel with an accessible...bar.

Drunk-en midgets seen near and a...far.

ParisThemmenAMA545 karma

LOL. Yay!

pnewell554 karma

What'd you think of the remake? Specifically the kid who played your role?

ParisThemmenAMA2644 karma

Remake? Huh?

misternuge518 karma

Did you ever get to meet Roald Dahl?

ParisThemmenAMA1048 karma

Yes, once for lunch. He was very tall and imperious.

Grimsrasatoas242 karma

can you explain further? Did he think he was God's gift to man or something like that?

ParisThemmenAMA519 karma

Unfortunately it's kind of foggy because I was only eleven at the time. I remember that it happened but in this case I don't have details for you.

sketti_time439 karma

Thanks for doing the AMA! I gotta pretty serious question that I've been dying to ask for years.. Who can take a sunrise Sprinkle it in dew Cover it in chocolate and a miracle or two?

ParisThemmenAMA798 karma

The Candy Man can, but that's not, I mean... Oh, I see what you did there.

omenmedia409 karma

Hi Paris, thanks for joining us. Were any of the kids in WW similar to their alter ego personalities in reality? Or was it all just... acting?

ParisThemmenAMA1023 karma

I'm a Veruca fan. She was a lovely, demure British girl and now she's my closest friend from the film. Augustus didn't speak much English then. Now he does. He's an accountant still living in Munich.

TheDarkTriad366 karma

Were you compensated generously/fairly for your role?

ParisThemmenAMA768 karma

$500/week for nine weeks and a trip to Germany for me and my family, where the film was shot.

iamadogforreal239 karma

No residuals or royalties?

ParisThemmenAMA651 karma

I get residuals when the film is shown on network TV, not for cable, DVD, or VHS sales. The contract between the signatory producers and SAG that covered those ancillary markets was signed six months after I signed my contract. Ouch.

misternuge364 karma

Has starring in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory been a blessing or a curse? Do you feel like no matter what you do, you'll always be Mike Teevee?

ParisThemmenAMA799 karma

Definitely more a blessing than a curse. I'm not dead yet, but clearly this is going to be the thing that I'm best remembered for, and I'm OK with that because Wonka is so awesome.

Aerron308 karma

When was the last time someone asked you an original question about your Willy Wonka experience?

ParisThemmenAMA548 karma

Here on this AMA, when a guy asked how I felt about not having to give back my Everlasting Gobstopper. But your point is well taken. As I sit at my table at conventions, the vast majority of the questions that are asked of me are repeats. I am hoping that Reddit will provide some fresh perspective.

Aerron292 karma

I have a real question, if you'll humor me. The "chocolate" river, did it have an odor?

ParisThemmenAMA490 karma

Yes, pretty stinky.

mealymouthmongolian296 karma

How amazing was the candy wonderland in real life? Did the candy you ate taste good or was it just prop crud?

ParisThemmenAMA695 karma

Spoiler alert: The gummy bears in the Pure Imagination room were mostly plastic with a gummy ear. This is an example of how they did it. In general, if we ate it on film it was real, and if not, it was fake. Visually, the room was unbelievable.

joelschlosberg261 karma

What's your reaction to The Big Lebowski becoming such a huge cult movie?

ParisThemmenAMA456 karma

I appear in The Big Lebowski basically as a featured extra (you can see me bowling during the scenes in the bowling alley and the title sequence), so I only have so much of a right to comment on the film. But the Coen Brothers are seminal filmmakers and I love all their films.

evmitch234 karma

Did you eat a lot of candy on the set?

ParisThemmenAMA524 karma

Yes, we did eat several types of candy on set. My favorite candy was actually the "gum" that Violet eats and is a three-course meal. That actually wasn't gum but was a very tasty toffee-based candy. It was used in close-ups so they didn't have very many of them, and after I ate a couple I asked for a third one and they wouldn't give it to me. They used a lot of marzipan on set because it was easy to color and form into shapes.

kishbish219 karma

I once sat next to this dude on a city bus who was absolutely tripping balls and he lit into this long soliloquy about how Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory movie was actually this biblical homily. Charlie was Jesus, and Wonka was God, and the other kids represented the deadly sins that would get you relegated to hell. SO, Charlie (Jesus) was accepted into the kingdom of heaven (inheriting the factory, which was heaven) by Wonka (God), while the other kids (who had committed at least one deadly sin) were each tempted by different items in the factory (the stuff tempting them represented the devil) and they could not resist temptation. So, they were cast out of the factory (heaven) and back into the real world (Hell). Wonka became the de-facto father figure in Charlie's life (Jesus, son of God) and together they ruled the kingdom of Heaven.

It was 1am and although I was a little freaked out by this dude who smelled of piss and brokenness, that assessment always stuck with me. He then told me that things like bell bottoms were what caused the French Revolution. Quite a bus ride. I want whatever he was on. My question is, of course, what is your favorite color?

ParisThemmenAMA281 karma

I hear these theories from time to time. In addition to the seven deadly sins version, many think that Grandpa Joe was a jerk (the character, not the actor). Also, that Wonka knew the kids were going to die one by one, as evidenced by the number of seats on the Wonkatania and the Wonkamobile. Also, lots of questions about whether the Wonka tour is a psychedelic experience. Personally, I don't believe any of them. Blue.

ThatRedditerGuy216 karma

How many dwarfs were actually used?

ParisThemmenAMA506 karma

  1. 9 men, 1 woman. They were sourced from circuses around Europe - British, Turkish. Three are still alive - Rusty Goffe, Malcolm Dixon, and Albert Wilkinson. They have appeared in several iconic geek films. See their Wikis for more.

minnick27340 karma

Im all of the sudden sad that 7 Oompa Loompas are dead

ParisThemmenAMA1007 karma

Don't be sad. They'll live forever on film.

Echus213 karma

How has growing up as a child actor affected your adult life?

ParisThemmenAMA628 karma

I have a superpower now. I have the power to freak people out by telling them I was Mike Teevee. I try not to be gauche but I don't shy away from making use of the fact.

benjibobs198 karma

Has anyone ever recognised you because of your childhood roles or characters?

ParisThemmenAMA468 karma

Yes. Those who recognize me most readily are people who have seen the film a million times, people who have seen me do extra features or appearances as an adult, people who have photographic memories, and visual artists who can see the child's face in the man.

coolbeansbrah190 karma

Did the snozzberries taste like snozzberries?

ParisThemmenAMA421 karma


rhapdimp184 karma


ParisThemmenAMA495 karma

Have a backup career. It's always good to follow your dreams, but there are so many wannabe actors out there that only a small percentage of them are ultimately successful.

This is another one of those spoiler alert questions that I feel weird about answering because there may be kids reading this. The river was made of water with food coloring. At one point, they poured some cocoa powder into it to try to thicken it but it didn't really work. When asked this question, Michael Böllner, who played Augustus Gloop, answers, "It vas dirty, stinking vater."

DylanNotDillon183 karma


ParisThemmenAMA434 karma

Of the five kids, I was two years younger and the most rambunctious. So other than Charlie, who was and is a sweetheart, yes, I was the brattiest.

PutItOnMy_Tab168 karma

Do you keep in touch with any of the other kids who were in Willy Wonka with you?

ParisThemmenAMA387 karma

Yes, all of them. We do Comic-Con-type conventions together. At this point, maybe once a year. During the years between 1971-1998, none of us had seen each other at all, but in '98 we all found each other again. Interestingly, Michael had no idea that he was famous until they approached him at that point.

tkilgore108 karma

I imagine that would imply that Charlie and the Chocolate Factory never gained a lot of popularity in Germany?

ParisThemmenAMA125 karma


the_radsputin156 karma

Are you still working in film? Is there anything upcoming that we should look for you to be starring in?

ParisThemmenAMA294 karma

I worked as an actor from 6 to 16. I did a couple dozen commercials, three Broadway shows, some voiceover work, and Willy Wonka. Then I studied at NYU and got my degree in theatre. I took a long break from film, did some more commercials in my 30s, and sometimes do background work on film and TV here in NYC. I also have worked on several films behind the scenes, mostly as a production assistant, sometimes as an assistant director, and a bit here and there in other departments. If you're really good, you'll see me walking around in the background of The Good Wife on CBS.

shipsass152 karma

Don't forget directing GODSPELL at Camp Long Lake in Summer 1982! I'm surprised that's fallen off the Wikipedia page.

ParisThemmenAMA136 karma

Yes, that's right.

joelschlosberg58 karma

How hard was it paying NYU's tuition compared to nowadays?

ParisThemmenAMA205 karma

When I got out of school I was fortunate enough to start a travel agency in New York and Paris. It's one of the crazy entrepreneurial things I've done in my life. That's when I got the travel bug and started all of my international traveling. I sold that business a couple years later and paid off my student loans with that money. I was lucky.

ediel141150 karma


ParisThemmenAMA524 karma

Excellent. I just got married on June 21st. And fortunately she's a really fast AMA typist.

ediel141109 karma


ParisThemmenAMA147 karma

Thank you!

Wlpdx145 karma

When was the last time you ate a TV dinner?

ParisThemmenAMA245 karma

(LOL) Either never or on set. But in any case, not for forty years.

CreamOnMyNipples137 karma

Time for a stupid question: Did you find anything interesting in the purse you were put into after you shrunk?

ParisThemmenAMA368 karma

There's a voiceover that you can just barely hear about all the things I'm doing in her purse. If you crank it all the way up, you might hear me saying, "Let me outta here" and that I'm going to bend the tines in her comb and spread lipstick all over the inside of her purse. We recorded that in post.

Kairaduh128 karma

What the weirdest encounter you've had with a fan?

ParisThemmenAMA342 karma

A guy came up to my table at a convention. He wanted me to put my autograph on his arm. He intended to tattoo it there later on. He showed me other tattooed autographs all over his body. Yeesh. I did it.

adamlutz123 karma

Hello Mr. Themmen! Thank you so much for doing this AMA! I am a very big fan of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and my favorite scene is of course the chocolate room scene. My question to you is: How much of the chocolate room was actually edible? Many people do not realize that the gummy bears were actually made of plastic and just had gummy ears. I was wondering if anything else wasn't actually edible. Thanks!

ParisThemmenAMA169 karma

Thanks, good to be here! I already answered this one - anything we ate was actual candy.

Herpderp409116 karma

Did you succumb to any of the terrible downfalls that seem to afflict modern child actors after their big hits? For example, shortly after Willy Wonka did you find yourself sucking on men's everlasting gob stoppers for some sugar to snort sending you down a chocolate river of love and hallucinations?

ParisThemmenAMA129 karma

(laughing) I don't know, do I want to answer that question? I'm certainly aware of the train wrecks that some child actors have become as adults, so I do my best to successfully navigate that obstacle course.

CloudlessTwo112 karma

What was your expectation for your career after the Willy Wonka movie was released?

ParisThemmenAMA381 karma

Willy Wonka was not a huge success at the time that it came out, so it's not like I was suddenly very famous. Its popularity grew when they started showing it once a year on TV. But if you're asking if a child actor who has fame hits adulthood and is disappointed that their childhood fame didn't grow and grow, yes. That's true, but it became my job to fill my life with other interesting experiences. We're getting into existential terrain here, but each of us has to cherish each moment we're alive and continue to find meaning.

judgemebymysocks112 karma

I religiously watched the Willy Wonka film every day when I was kid. I even still have the VHS from when I was younger!

I've wondered, what was working with the excellent Roy Kinnear like?

Any gossip you could give us from the set also?


ParisThemmenAMA164 karma

Roy Kinnear was another very funny actor. Unfortunately, he eventually died when he fell off a horse during the shoot of one of the Musketeers films. He joked around with the kids a lot and was a very nice man.

radio_dead109 karma

If a sandwich was named after you, what would be on it?

ParisThemmenAMA327 karma


Ylatch100 karma

I watched Willy Wonka a lot as a child (and I mean there was a time I'd watch it multiple times a day). How does it feel knowing that I'm most certainly not the only one, and that you were part of something that impacted thousands (millions?) of people's lives?

ParisThemmenAMA199 karma

Weird. Great. Lucky. It had to be someone. It turns out it was me. How do we try to explain life? All I know is that it continues to affect my life these many years later, and I'm really glad that it was a piece that is not only known by so many people but loved by so many people.

Wrestlingisgood86 karma

Was it fun?

ParisThemmenAMA180 karma

Absolutely. Every day a new set, awesome script, great actors, candy, Golden Tickets. What could be bad?

joelschlosberg86 karma

How exactly is Disney Imagineering "a bit right wing" in your opinion? Cory Doctorow has noted the discrepancy between Disney's corporate culture and how "internally, the theme-parks operate like socialist utopias".

ParisThemmenAMA230 karma

I was there in '90, '91, during the Eisner years. But my contention that they are "right-wing" can be traced all the way back to Walt. When I was in Imagineering, I was super impressed by the talent and intelligence of all the people that worked there, but I myself grew up with kind of a hippie background. You know, it's Disney. They're conservative; they're tough business negotiators; their cast members dress conservatively. You know, they're, whatchamacallit - their films project a sense of, "MURICA."

C081283 karma

Have you ever been to /r/gonewilder?

ParisThemmenAMA139 karma

The answer is no, I haven't. Is that like Girls Gone Wilder or Gene Gone Wilder?

BigFatBeardo82 karma

My daughter really, really wants to know, "Does watching that much TV really rot your brains?"

ParisThemmenAMA286 karma

Let's assume your daughter is less than six. In which case the answer is yes, definitely. And the river was really chocolate.

osnonymous78 karma

Whaen Wonka pulled up you hair while singing...was it really that thick and layered?

ParisThemmenAMA155 karma

Yes, it was. And as you can tell from my proof photo, those days are long gone.

ValiantNarwhal72 karma

What was it like to be in a movie as surreal as Wily Wonka and the Chocolate Factory?

ParisThemmenAMA474 karma

A violin.

hacksawjim69 karma

Aside from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, what's your favourite Roald Dahl book?

ParisThemmenAMA212 karma

Pretty much everything that Roald Dahl wrote has that cool, macabre sense to it. One that I like is a short story with the woman who murders her husband with a frozen leg of lamb and then serves it to the detective. I remember another one in Playboy that was called "Bitch" and was all about people marketing a pheromone-based perfume.

Obliviontoad60 karma

Any opinion on the last remake?

ParisThemmenAMA342 karma

Was there a remake?

jennave4358 karma

What is something awesome/awkward/interesting about the film that you can tell us that no one ever asks about?

ParisThemmenAMA135 karma

I think what's most awesome and interesting about Willy Wonka is the way that it appeals to kids and adults. Both Roald Dahl and Mel Stuart, the director, consciously tried not to talk down to kids. For this reason, adults enjoy watching it with their kids and the daisy chain of popularity moves down through the generations.

chiikuroshitsuji53 karma

Oh wow! It's like Easter come early. Or late, depending on how you look at it. Mr. Themmen, if you could have food sent through to your TV on a regular basis, what would you choose?

ParisThemmenAMA98 karma


Xxenotron46 karma

Thank you for doing this AMA! What do you imagine Mike Teevee did after being restored to his size and leaving the chocolate factory?

ParisThemmenAMA83 karma

I saw an internet video where he grew up and was the owner of a film studio. That's a decent future for him. He would have had to get past the whole stretched-out-in-the-taffy-pulling-machine thing, though.

Frajer42 karma

Before you went into the chocolate factory were you given any idea what to expect in there?

ParisThemmenAMA134 karma

I read the book, "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" with my mother for the very first time the night before my audition. That gave me some idea of what to expect. But they definitely held back some surprises. They wanted to film our initial reactions to the Chocolate Room set, so it was a closed set until they opened the door, let us in, and we saw the river running, the waterfall flowing, 360 degrees of a panoramic chocolate wonderland.

seablizz42 karma


ParisThemmenAMA104 karma

Willy Wonka was cast by Marion Dougherty. She was famous for bringing in a few people rather than a ton, and that was the case with me. One audition, one callback, and then I got the phone call I was going to Germany. There was no script yet, so we read scenes from the book.

FattyBumbaLatty35 karma

Did you maintain contact with any of the cast members?

ParisThemmenAMA108 karma

Happy Cake Day!

Yes, I do. I answered this elsewhere as well. I talk to Julie the most.

Thisdarlingdeer34 karma

Did it really taste like schnozzberries? Don't bullshit me.

ParisThemmenAMA95 karma

The wallpaper tasted like wallpaper.

dumaflachestoopnagle30 karma

Paris! Happy September... So, just curious: what were the 80's like for you?

Also, original Wonka for life! Take care.

ParisThemmenAMA49 karma

(laughing) I graduated from NYU in '83 and owned Access International, my travel agency, during the 80s. I like to dance a lot. I studied dance in college and was a regular in the New York disco Limelight, Area, Studio 54 scene. New York was really hopping in those days. But the 80s were also a very "me" generation time, so that was less than optimal. I enjoy my life regardless of the decade, so it's all good. But aesthetically and sociopolitically I preferred the 60s and 70s.

PaladinSato22 karma

Please tell me you did not scribble your reddit name on the original Golden Ticket they gave you as a souvenir!

Do you get to keep anything, especially the toy gun and cowboy hat? The whole outfit?

Also, how many takes did you have to watch Violet Bouregard's nose picking "Spitting is a nasty habit!" Wonka: "I know a worse one..." scene!

ParisThemmenAMA60 karma

Rest assured, I would not do that to a sacred icon of American film history. The ticket is a replica that I use to sign my name at conventions.

An original, film-used Golden Ticket was recently sold at auction for $48,000. I was asked by the prop guy to give mine back when I was done with that scene and in a rare moment of following direction, I gave it back. Grr. Neither did I keep my boots, hat, gun, or anything else.

You know, I don't know. That scene with Violet didn't take a lot of takes. There was another shot which did. "Not till you're 12, son." For some reason, there were 46 takes of that scene.

noah1990099116 karma

How did you get started in the fil business?

ParisThemmenAMA45 karma

When I was six years old, my mother brought me into an agent's office along with my older sister Adina. Both my parents were classical musicians - my mother (a composer) and my father (a classical clarinetist). I was just sort of along for the ride but the agent said, "Well, how about him?" They sent me on a commercial audition and I booked it. I was on top of a mountain of peanuts for a Jif Peanut Butter commercial. Then I booked the next one I went up for too. I was the only six-year-old who could say, "Crazy bubbles bubble blowing bubble bath" three times fast. Of course, with my lisp I said "Crazthee bubbleth..." Then was Broadway, then was Wonka...

joelschlosberg23 karma

Are you currently able to say "Crazy bubbles bubble blowing bubble bath" three times fast?

ParisThemmenAMA59 karma

Yes. I've still got it.

negspace15 karma

What are you doing with yourself now? Still pursuing acting?

ParisThemmenAMA58 karma

I have a photography business that takes fan/celebrity pics at conventions. I sign autographs at conventions, and have done a variety of other things throughout my life. A brief list includes: financial advisor, real estate broker, entrepreneur, casting associate, Imagineer. I've owned a travel agency and backpacked through 61 countries.

rushandblue13 karma

Thank you so much for doing this AMA! As a man in my early 30s, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory was a childhood staple of mine, and I've lost count of how many times I've seen the film.

Anyway, my question: due to all of the various takes involving candy-eating on set, did you find yourself sick of candy by the end of the shoot? Sort of like how someone that sells cotton candy can't stand the stuff after a full day of work.

ParisThemmenAMA32 karma

In fact, there weren't that many days where I had to eat candy. So no. One thing I thought was interesting: we were in Munich, Germany to shoot it, and for some reason the chocolate they had on set was made by Hershey's. But no, I didn't get sick of it.

sostek191813 karma

Forget Saved By The Bell, when are you guys getting your own Lifetime movie?

ParisThemmenAMA28 karma

I wasn't aware of that. I am not Lifetime's target audience. Screech? That's about the extent of my Saved By The Bell knowledge.

Poxx13 karma

Were you disappointed that the 'Gobstopper' candy that is sold under the Wonka brand is just a small spherical jawbreaker, and not that cool looking multi-pointed caltrops shaped confection from the movie? Talk about a major disappointment in MY life...

ParisThemmenAMA15 karma

Yes, actually. I don't particularly like jawbreakers, so... And this could extend not only to that but to Nerds and the rest of the hard candy line. I'm more of a chocolate guy, myself.

photoguy42311 karma

Hi Paris,

I'll ask one question for fun...what was the most fun you've had working since you were in Willy Wonka?

I've met you at a variety of conventions. You've always been kind and entertaining to chat with. I just wanted to thank you for your time and the drawing you did for me featuring a stick figure scene from the movie.

ParisThemmenAMA22 karma

Not sure if you mean within the entertainment industry or without. Being on Broadway in The Rothschilds for a year and a half with Hal Linden was really fun. Working at Walt Disney Imagineering was fascinating. And though not strictly work-related, some of my travel experiences have been amazing - Mount Everest base camp, the Sahara Desert, the Amazon jungle, Borneo, Angkor Wat, etc. 61 countries, so a lot to tell. I haven't been bored. Oh, and June 21st of this year I got married to my beautiful wife and current Reddit typist, Nikki.

photoguy42310 karma

Congratulations on the marriage. It sounds like you've had a varied and adventure filled life thus far. I hope it only gets better from here. :)

ParisThemmenAMA14 karma

Thanks. It's not lost on me how lucky I am to have been in such an awesome film.

thecodguy16 karma

Favourite movie? Have you met any other famous directors or actors? Thanks!

ParisThemmenAMA14 karma

Lawrence of Arabia, It's a Wonderful Life, Maltese Falcon, tons more. I've met a lot of famous people in my life but it would be rude to list them here. Sorry :)

sketti_time6 karma

Have you heard of the new "Primus and the Chocolate Factory" project? If so, what are your thoughts on it & do you plan on catching one of the shows? You should. http://www.primusville.com

ParisThemmenAMA16 karma

Sure. I first saw Primus in 1990 in San Francisco in the Haight. It seemed a little hard for my tastes, but I know Primus is playing the Beacon soon. But I am always surprised and pleased to see Wonka pop up in various aspects of popular culture - American Idol Golden Tickets, The Simpsons, Family Guy, SNL, etc.

Bryant_1 karma

What is your opinion on the remake of Willy Wonka?

ParisThemmenAMA3 karma

Asked and answered :)

Bryant_1 karma

Sorry! I guess I didn't see that!

ParisThemmenAMA3 karma

No worries!

GoogleAss1 karma

So... How much candy did you get to eat on the set while filming?

ParisThemmenAMA5 karma

Not too much!

BlackBerryJamJar0 karma

What was it like working with Gene Wilder?

ParisThemmenAMA2 karma

He was fantastic.